Do you know that the Lagos State APC governorship candidate, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his running mate, Engr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, are good friends? We can tell you that for sure that they are close. They have been friends for at least 15 years. Their friendship started in 2003 when they were serving as Commissioners under their political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was the Lagos State Governor then. They are both Tinubu’s Boys. And they both went on to serve under Tinubu’s successor, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. Under BRF, Sanwo-Olu was one of the commissioners. He was born June 25, 1965. He was one of the politician who contested and he won the gubernatorial primaries under the All Progressives Congressauspieces in Lagos State against the incumbent governor, Akinwunmi Ambode in October 2018.
He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, as well as the London Business School, Lagos Business School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Prior to his gubernatorial ambition, he was the Managing Director/CEO of Lagos State Property Development Commission (LSPDC).
Sanwo-Olu has a BSc in Surveying and an MBA from the University of Lagos. He is an alumnus of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the London Business School and the Lagos Business School. Like his running mate, he has a rich resumes. He is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and as Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Training and Development (NITAD).
Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was the Treasurer at former Lead Merchant Bank from 1994 to 1997 after which he moved to the United Bank for Africa (UBA) as the Head of
Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu began his political career in 2003, when he was appointed a Special Adviser on Corporate Matters to the then deputy governor of Lagos State, Femi Pedro. He was later made an acting Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget until 2007, when he became the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry under the then Governor, Bola Tinubu. After the General elections of 2007, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was appointed Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions by Governor Babatunde Fashola. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was made Managing Director/CEO of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in 2016.
On 16th September 2018, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu formally declared his intention to run for the office of the governor of Lagos State on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC). The declaration made him a major contender against the incumbent Akinwunmi, Ambode. Sanwo-Olu won the primaries on 2nd October 2018. Engineer Kabir Olufemi, Sanwo-Olu’s running mate, Hamzat was one of the key Commissioners in Lagos State. And that was because of the challenging portfolio he ran. Hamzat was Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure and he did a good job of it from inception on 4th
Before that, he had served as Commissioner at the Ministry of Science & Technology from August 2005, a position he held with telling performance till June 2011 when he was re-appointed Commissioner. He was generally seen as one of the best technocrats in the Lagos cabinet. No wonder he emerged Lagos Man Of The Year for 2013. The ministry he ran was huge and it was one of the most active ministries because of all the mega projects the Fashola administration had embarked on then.
He is a product of the University of Ibadan where he graduated with B.Sc. Honours, Second Class Upper Division in Agricultural Engineering (1986) and M.Sc. in Crop Processing Engineering (1988). He thereafter proceeded to the famous Silsoe College, Cranfield University, England where he obtained a Ph.D. in System Process Engineering in 1992. To his credit, he was the first student to complete his doctoral degree within 3 years in his Department at Cranfield. He also holds a Certificate in Computer/Windows Programming (1995) of the Baruch College, City University of New York, USA.
A professional engineer, thorough-bred systems integrator, seasoned administrator and consummate manager of men and materials, Engr. Dr Hamzat has had over 2 decades of work experience in diverse areas of engineering practice, including project management, computer networking, enterprise system assessment, engineering system design and implementation. He has, during this period, held enviable positions in different world-class international organisations.
It was in early 2000 that the paths of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat crossed. It was after his stint as Science & Tech Commissioner that Hamzat was reappointed Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on the 4th of July, 2011.
In 2014, he was one of the top contenders for the governorship slot in Lagos APC. Again last year, he came out to make a bid for the slot, but he had to yield space to Jide Sanwo-Olu. He is now his running mate.
Obafemi Hamzat is very lucky that he has a lot going for him. Apart from a rich pedigree and a good name, he has also had the required experience in Public Service and the Private sector. He is always proud to tell anyone, who cares to listen, that he is a product of 2 Lagos Governors: Asiwaju Tinubu and Fashola. Sanwo-Olu says the same thing too. He has served 3 governors. Both of them have undergone great tutelage under their former bosses or leaders. Hamzat served in the cabinets of Tinubu & BRF as a Commissioner.
Hamzat has a rich pedigree as a son of Alhaji Muftau Olatunji Hamzat, the seasoned Lagos politician, who has been involved in Lagos politics from the early 60’s in the Action Group era to the Lateef Jakande era, right to the Tinubu period. His father has been part of the political evolution of Nigeria, all through the various military administrations till 1978 when the military vacated power for civilians.
His father is a grassroots politician, who made a name for himself politically right from his days in Mushin. Obafemi Hamzat feels his wealth of experience gathered from understudying his father all those years must count for something. It has put him in good stead for his present role.
Femi Hamzat, who is 54 was born on September 19th 1964 in Lagos into a civil service family. His father, Olatunji Hamzat, originally a banker, served as a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, as well as Commissioner for Transportation in the early 80s.
He attended Odu Abore Memorial Primary School, Mushin, Lagos State and Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo before he proceeded to the University of Ibadan.
An accomplished academic and a technocrat of proven ability, Dr. Hamzat’s career has seen him work in both the private and public sectors with experience in organisations such as RTP Consulting Services, City of New York, Columbia University, Merrill Lynch Inc, Morgan Stanley and Oando Plc.
In 2005, Dr.Hamzat joined the Lagos State Civil Service, serving as the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Science & Technology. Within the administration he introduced and championed the automation of government processes. The policy helped change and improve the way public servants carry out their operations in the state, as well as eradicate ghost workers through the implementation of enterprise resource planning.
In 2011, Dr. Hamzat was appointed Lagos State Honourable Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure; a position held till 2015. As a Commissioner he was responsible for many civil and construction works in the state. His other notable achievements are the completion of the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge linking Admiralty Way to Bourdillon Road, Nigeria’s first cable-stayed bridge and the completion of the Lekki Expressway with the upgrade, expansion and maintenance of approximately 50km of the Lekki-Epe Expressway (Phase I), and construction of Yaya Abatan, Cemetery Road in Ajeromi Ifelodun and others across the State.
Dr. Hamzat is married to Oluremi Hamzat. He always tells anyone who cares to listen that the experience he had gathered working with 2 great men, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Raji Fashola will forever remain invaluable to him.
Before then, he had worked in the private sector and he had gained a lot of experience in the private sector. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies. He was the Group CIO of Oando before he joined Public Service.
So, he has had private sector experience and he has been opportune to work outside Nigeria. He worked in the US for some time. So, all these have broadened his horizon. He has also been a Commissioner for about 9 years under 2 different capacities.
“I have also been involved in various life-changing projects in Lagos State, like the Lekki link bridge, Lagos-Badagry Expressway,